Gaspar Claus ~ 2359

Oh wow, what a great video.  “2359” is the title cut of Gaspar Claus‘ new EP, reappearing after its debut on the Tancade album.  In a game of “Which of these is not like the other?”, this cut would win.  Showcasing the percussive, electronic aspects of the cellist, this propulsive track was worth revisiting and expanding.  In Ilan J. Cohen’s video, Denis Lavant & Yanis Ben Seghaïer Cromier run and run and run, according to the director, “a mad rush.”  One can’t help but recall Franka Potente.  The similarity between the actors, playing the same character half a century apart, is uncanny.  Once one realizes where the run is headed, the title becomes especially poignant: “2359,” or one minute before midnight.

The title track also appears in a “Night Blossom” version, remixed by Basile3, who amplifies the clubworthy nature of the piece.  As the new work remains single-length, one can imagine these inhabiting flip sides of a 45.  The mid-piece stop at 1:42 is particularly effective.  But it’s Claus’ cello that contributes the melancholic aspect of the piece, no matter how techno-inflected the pulse.  The EP also contains two new tracks, the first of which, “Amour Constrictor,” was rescued from the Tancade sessions.  In sheer forward motion, the piece is a worthy companion to “2359,” albeit without beats.  The second, “Recycled Future,” is a gorgeous eight and a half minute expulsion of emotion, commissioned by the website radiooooooo.  Claus uses “bits and pieces” of old memory cards to reflect a 2070 that seems less science fiction than prognostication, where recycling is all there is.  The loops are taken from old live shows, building to a huge shift at 3:46, when bowing is replaced by strumming, and in turn overwhelmed by a mass of drone.  Ironically ~ or perhaps purposely ~ the distance between now and then is the same as that between the two actors in the “2359” video.  The message seems to be that we are headed toward a future in which we will look back at today and rue the decisions we have made.  A cloud of sadness descends on the sixth minute and lasts until the hollow end.  As for counter-balance: we are not there yet, and still have time ~ leaking, precious time ~ to change our course.  (Richard Allen)

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